Innovation tends to achieve a saturation level after some time, which bogs down just about ever side of know-how. What do you do when these eureka moments begin drying up and you end up on the lookout for one thing new to wow your viewers with? Placing a recent spin on outdated know-how looks like one approach to go about it. Smartphone cameras with optical zoom have been round ever since Nokia launched the N90, manner again when. This did not precisely catch on since nobody likes carrying a cumbersome digital camera of their pockets, which is what these telephones primarily have been.
Samsung has toyed with this concept a bit, with its final try being the Galaxy Ok Zoom over two years in the past. The 10X optical zoom was the spotlight of this cellphone however it was nonetheless extra of a digital digital camera than a smartphone.
Asus has by no means identified to draw back from experimenting with hybrid gadgets and its newest incarnation is the ZenFone Zoom. That is its try at a smartphone with optical zoom and fortunately, it hasn’t compromised (an excessive amount of) on it being a smartphone. Can the ZenFone Zoom breathe new life into this non-starter of a section? Let’s discover out.
Feel and look Asus ZenFone
The ZenFone Zoom is priced at a premium and it is actually dressed for the half. The unibody aluminium body seems good and likewise provides the cellphone a very good grip. The rounded sides make it very snug to carry too. There are chamfered edges and chrome accents thoughtfully distributed across the edges and the digital camera part on the again, all lending to the cellphone’s beauty.
The 5.5-inch full-HD IPS show is surrounded by very thick bezels, which dampens its cool quotient a bit. The capacitive navigation buttons usually are not backlit however fortunately, the notification LED was not neglected.
There’s a regular Micro-USB 2.zero port on the backside together with a lanyard loop to its left. On the best facet, we now have the two-step digital camera shutter button and a devoted button for video recording. Urgent both one for just a few seconds will fireplace up the digital camera app. The amount and energy buttons are positioned additional up and have good tactile suggestions.
The again cowl is detachable and will get an actual leather-based remedy, though it is simple to mistake it for fake leather-based. There is a large disc within the center the place the digital camera meeting is – that is the place Asus has managed to slot in the zoom lens in a sideways style, as we might defined in our earlier report. This implies there isn’t any protruding lens like Samsung’s choices and it makes the ZenFone Zoom a bit much less conspicuous whenever you’re making an attempt to seize some candid moments.
Asus has supplied for a single Micro-SIM and expandable storage through a microSD card. The battery is non-removable. The ZenFone Zoom is available in a reasonably compact field with a lanyard, information cable, charger, and in-ear headset. The standard of elements is excellent, simply as you’d count on at this value degree.
General, the cellphone stands out from the gang on account of its camera-esque again facet. However aside from that, it might move of as simply one other ZenFone. The construct high quality and end of the cellphone are excellent and we now have at hand it to Asus for managing to squeeze an optical zoom lens right into a physique that is simply 11.9mm at its thickest level.
Specs and software program
Asus might be the one main smartphone maker that is so in keeping with utilizing Intel SoCs. The ZenFone Zoom is powered by a quad-core Intel Atom Z3590 and comes with 4GB of LPDDR3 RAM and 128GB of onboard storage. We admire the beneficiant quantity of storage, and simply in case it is not sufficient, you possibly can increase it by one other 128GB with a microSD card. Different specs embrace Wi-Fi b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth four.zero, NFC, USB OTG, FM radio, GPS and GLONASS.
The cellphone ships with a reasonably dated model of Android Lollipop, contemplating now that Marshmallow is out within the wild. There’s ZenUI 2.zero operating on high of Android 5.zero and like we have seen in previous choices from Asus, you get a tonne of tweaks and Asus apps pre-installed.
Productiveness apps embrace Splendid, for adjusting the color temperature and toggling the blue mild filter; AudioWizard, which helps you to high-quality tune sound profiles for film, music, gaming, or voice calls; Auto-start supervisor, which supplies you management over which apps run on boot; Cellular Supervisor, to do away with junk recordsdata and unencumber system sources; Energy Saver for setting your energy profile relying in your utilization kind; and Do it Later, a job supervisor that may sync with Google Duties. There are some pre-installed third occasion apps as effectively, which will be uninstalled if not wanted.
The default Android apps are additionally overhauled, just like the Gallery app can present you images and movies from cloud providers as effectively. PhotoCollage and MiniMovie are Asus apps built-in into the gallery which allow you to customise and bundle your images and movies for sharing. You too can customise the interface with themes, animations and icon packs.
As useful because the interface is, ZenUI is beginning to present its age because it now feels a bit cluttered. It nonetheless capabilities very easily however with after utilizing lighter skins from different producers, ZenUI will be overwhelming, particularly for a newbie.
Efficiency Asus ZenFone
By way of efficiency, the ZenFone Zoom is like some other high-end Android cellphone. Apps run and not using a hitch and so do demanding video games reminiscent of Asphalt eight. The cellphone tends to run a bit heat when gaming, and this additionally makes a dent within the battery life. 4G works effectively on Band 40, as we did not face any situation throughout our time utilizing it. We did get a software program replace which added a brand new function known as Fast Discover, which will be accessed by swiping downwards from the house display screen. It is not a common search instrument since you possibly can’t entry recordsdata out of your cellphone, however extra of a fast approach to search the Internet and launch steadily used apps.
The Zoom fares decently in benchmarks too, though it is nonetheless far behind different telephones with at the moment’s top-tier . We acquired scores of 63,352 in AnTuTu and 21,170 in 3DMark Ice Storm Limitless. Regardless of the heavy pores and skin and pre-loaded apps, you continue to have about 2.2GB free RAM on common.
Though the cellphone cannot document movies in 4K, it might play them with ease. The default video participant is fairly barebones however the music participant is barely extra useful. You’ll be able to type songs by folders, change the theme of the participant, and tweak the audio with Asus’s AudioWizard enhancement. The bundled headset is of excellent high quality and gives respectable ambient noise isolation.
Digital camera Asus ZenFone
We now come to the spotlight of the cellphone, and that is the digital camera. At its coronary heart is a 13-megapixel sensor with a 10-element lens made by Hoya. The lens association is completed in such a manner that you just get 3X optical zoom with out the necessity for the lens to increase outwards. Add to this laser autofocus and Optical Picture Stabilisation and you’ve got a strong recipe for some good footage.
Landscapes and macros look detailed on the cellphone’s display screen in daylight. Colors are punchy, though they have a tendency to get a bit oversaturated with the optimisation set to Auto. Even at 3X zoom, the lens stays regular for blur-free pictures. At most optical zoom degree, objects in focus lose a little bit of sharpness however that is solely noticeable whenever you zoom in all the way in which.
Indoor pictures below synthetic lighting are good too with little to no noise. Low-light pictures aren’t the most effective as the extent of element dips. The focusing pace remains to be fairly fast though there is a delay when zooming in as the image within the viewfinder takes a second to catch as much as the zoom degree. The entrance 5-megapixel digital camera is respectable for selfies below good lighting.
Asus’s digital camera app is effectively designed, with a tonne of taking pictures modes and a fast toggle swap for handbook mode positioned simply above the software program shutter button. The bodily buttons work simply as effectively too. Video recording maxes out at 1080p and the standard is fairly good with a gradual framerate. There’s an possibility for slow-motion video as effectively. Sadly, 4K video recording is just not accessible. The twin-LED flash can be decently highly effective however just for brief distances. A xenon flash would have complemented the cellphone properly.
Optical zoom is indispensable at occasions, however after a degree, you want you had extra room to play with as 3X begins to really feel a bit restrictive. Something extra would have compromised the scale of the cellphone and maybe that is the technological restrict for optical zoom and not using a protruding lens.
The 3000mAh battery lasted for six hours and 58 minutes in our video loop check, which is under common. Upon common use with combined utilization of 4G and many taking pictures, we discovered that the ZenFone Zoom lasted us about 18-20 hours earlier than needing a recharge. Fortunately, the cellphone helps quick charging and can get you as much as 40 % capability in half an hour.
The Asus ZenFone Zoom comes at a premium for the only real cause that it is the solely smartphone available in the market for the time being with optical zoom. At Rs. 37,999, it competes with Samsung’s Galaxy S6 vary and the brand new Nexus 6P, each of which have wonderful cameras. By way of innovation, the ZenFone Zoom clearly has an edge over the others, however if you happen to look purely at picture high quality, it would not fairly surpass them. The comparatively low-resolution show, the older model of Android, weak battery life, and lack of 4K recording are additionally elements that work towards the ZenFone Zoom.
The cellphone could be a weak contender at its excessive launch value however it will not appear so unhealthy when it drops to extra cheap ranges. Asus has completed a commendable job with the design and construct of this cellphone. Optical zoom on smartphones requires many compromises and that is one of many causes that it by no means actually caught on.
It is a very modern concept, little question, however we really feel that having a bigger sensor able to producing higher picture high quality is a greater substitute, as you possibly can merely crop and enlarge the picture with little loss in high quality. The ZenFone Zoom is just not Asus’s present flagship; it appears to be extra of a one-off try to inject one thing recent into the corporate’s lineup earlier than the following technology arrives.